Science / Design & Technology KS2: Harnessing air resistance with parachutes

The Bloodhound supersonic car will use a parachute's drag and air resistance to slow it down from 1000 mph.

But what design makes the best parachute?

Children from Links Primary School in London investigate designing their own parachutes in order to safely drop an egg.

Will the eggs survive the drop from the school roof?

Teacher Notes

Pupils could be asked about their understanding of what air resistance is and think of examples of where they are used in everyday life.

They can be asked to design their own parachutes in a detailed diagram with a selection of materials to hand to analyse which they think would work best.

The clip could then be shown at this point and pupils told to reproduce this investigation.

Thought can be given to design the best container for the egg and the class can discuss which parachute design gives the most effective surface area.

Pupils need to record their results carefully and evaluate their success. Video footage would be useful for this.

An extension activity could be to investigate speed and the distance and time involved for the parachute to drop.

PupiIs could then evaluate the investigation using the video evidence.

Curriculum Notes

This clip will be relevant for teaching Science or Design and Technology at Key Stage 2 in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and Level 2 in Scotland.

More from The Bloodhound Adventure

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Experimenting with reaction times
What's Bloodhound like to drive?
Experimenting propulsion with water rockets
How air resistance slows down vehicles
Investigating air and water resistance
Investigating friction
Is the Bloodhound SSC a car, a boat or a plane?
What impact does air resistance and density have on travelling fast?
Why doesn't Bloodhound have tyres?
What makes a supersonic car move?